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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 6. Estimate CHF3000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF2400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Metapontum. Circa 340-330 BC. Stater (Silver, 7.86 g 5). Head of Demeter to left, wearing a barley wreath, a pendant earring and a simple necklace. Rev. ΜΕΤΑ Ear of barley with leaf to right; to left, caduceus and ΛΥ. Basel 154. Gulbenkian 79. HN III 1556. Johnston A1.2. SNG Lockett 420 (this coin). Rare. Nicely toned and of fine late classical style. Nearly extremely fine.

From the “Outstanding Collection”, Leu Numismatics 81,16 May 2001, 18, and from the collections of R. C. Lockett, Glendining & Co. 25 October 1955, 306, acquired from L. Forrer who recorded its origin as “V.H. XXVI, 266, £271” and from the collection of M. P. Vlasto, sold (privately) before 1922..

A lovely piece - this bears an elegant head of Demeter, much more mannered than the later issues that show her with long, flowing hair. When Leonard Forrer sold this coin to Lockett he cited a price for a die duplicate example (as noted in the Glendining catalogue) that appeared as lot 266 in Hirsch Auction 26 (23 May 1910) and was bought by Rollin & Feuardent for Jameson for the enormous sum of RM 4775 (with commission then £271)! In the end that coin, Jameson 311, was one of the pieces that Robinson picked out when he had the first choice of all the Jameson coins in 1948: it is now Gulbenkian 79. When the present piece, which is nearly as nice as the Jameson/Gulbenkian coin, sold in 1955 it went for £130, itself a very high price for that time (Lockett had only two other silver coins from Metapontum that exceeded that and one was a lovely distater). This is unquestionably one of the stylistically finest of all known Metapontine staters.